This is one of those scores that come so rarely. Music so completely evocative of the subject that it is hard to visualise the film without it. Robert Taylor came to England to make three movies. Ivanhoe, Knights of the Round table and Quentin Durwood. Rosza wrote the scores for the first two offerings and was oscar nominated for this film.
A splendid fanfare of trumpets opens with the Ivanhoe theme and full orchestra heralds the film, moving into the search for King Richard using a 13th century piece and then to sinister overtones for the finding of the King. Other cues are introduced for the Normans (a suitably menacing march), the Saxons (more pastoral and heroic)and two love themes, of which the theme for Rebecca (Elizabeth Taylor) is the better piece. A beautiful blend of Jewish and European melody. The music is by turns rousing and lyrical, but never dull, rising to a crescendo of violence as the Saxons Assault Torquilstone castle. The strident Norman themes gradually being overwhelmed by pounding action scores and a rousing rendition of the Saxon theme - although this ends with a tragic recital of rebeccas theme as the villian rides away from the battle with her on his saddle.
It only remains for the hero to ride to the rescue and King Richard to arrive and save the day, so England can kneel of two peoples and rise as one nation under good King Richard. The reality might have been different but the music makes you believe it for a moment.
This is an album to play many times. A glorious triumph for the composer, the music conjures up perfectly the age for which it is written, easily painting pictures of chivalric times in the minds eye.
A must for any serious collector of film music.